What are "Abnormal" Upload alarms?
Abnormal alarms are types of alarms that are telling you something different is happening.
Let's take an example from the real world, assume you have a security camera at your front door and someone keeps on walking in front of it, the system may beep you on this. And based on if you know the person/thing, you decide to sound a loud horn, call the police or ignore.
Firewalla abnormal alarms are generated by a similar mechanism, where we have software that detects the difference between how devices upload/transfer to the internet. If anything different, the upload alarm will occur.
Take the internet enabled security camera as an example:
(This is just a simplified example, the actual algorithm is a bit more complex)
1. Most of the time this real-world camera won't detect motion, so it will stay silent, may send little packets to the cloud server. Here, everything is normal.
2. Suppose you are outside and want to view your backyard, you remotely connected to this camera, your camera will upload a your backyard image to a cloud drive. Since you don't do this often and not always from the same source, Firewalla algorithm will notice this activity and classify it as 'abnormal'.
3. An alarm will be sent to you
4. When you receive this alarm, if you know you were doing the viewing, you can ignore it. But if you are not, likely someone may be looking at your camera, then ... block it.
5. Upload alarm may be delayed. The abnormal upload detection algorithm runs over a period of time. So it is possible that your equipment may not be on-site when the alarm happened. In times, the alarm generation time may be different from the alarm time. The computation of "abnormal" is relative to a time period, so it is highly possible that something in the past may be classified as abnormal as time passes.
How to identify 'good' vs 'bad'?
This identification process is a bit complex, we are slowly enhancing the algorithm or may eventually automate this process.
STEP 1: Look at the timestamp of the alarm and recall if it was triggered by known events, such as:
- Were you the one trigger the upload? such as viewing the camera remotely?
- If it is a Ring device, did someone just at your front door? (which triggered ring to record video ... upload to the cloud)
STEP 2: Tap into the alarm, you will see a bunch of detailed information, check out following fields:
Device & Destination Info:
- If Google is transferring to Google, then likely the transfer is legit.
- If the upload alarm is to a country of questionable nature, then a block may be necessary.
- If you get a "Ring doorbell" alarm and then a firewalla alarm saying the Ring Doorbell is transferring data, then likely you know what's transferred is normal.
*NOTE: By any time if the block is causing services to stop, then maybe best just unblock it.